Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fab Four July- A Quartet Of Things TNS Is Digging

This is another in our relatively new monthly feature that is going to highlight four new, new to me, or recently rediscovered items that have made my own personal country-music-can't-remove-from-my-head over the last month. It follows up on lists from earlier in the year. Some will be singles, some might be albums and some just might be a live performance or two. It’ll be a little look inside the head of this mad-about-country-music-man.

Without further ado...

1. Corb Lund's Cabin Fever that's being released next month

Stop what you're doing. Really. Open up your favorite music purchasing source. I don't care if it's Amazon, i-Tunes or anywhere else. Buy this album. Pre-order it so that you're the first on your block to get it. Now. You can thank me later.

With one foot embedded in some genius tongue-in-cheek comedic genius and the other firmly rooted in appreciative classic country, one of this year's best albums is from Alberta's Corb Lund in Cabin Fever. He's got a dedication to the beauty of gothic-dressed girls, crazy survivalists, a tribute to bovines, and deaths from antique pistols. Sound quirky? You bet. It's also genius. Lund’s fantastic songwriting covers it all. Even the production styles range from rockabilly to Western swing, cowboy balladry to country-rock. He even throws in a yodel at some point in there. The highlights of the album include the Hayes Carll co-write and story-song duet "Bible on the Dash." A permanently borrowed Gideon's Bible gets the duo out of more than one scrape with the law. And if Marty Robbins-type western tales are your thing, "Pour 'Em Kinda Strong" is a must download. The album EASILY ranks in our top handful of albums for the year.

2. The Joey + Rory Show

It's appropriate that the premiere of The Joey Plus Rory Show was the same week that Andy Griffith passed away. Griffith symbolized down-to-earth family-friendly television, so too does J+R's new show on RFD TV. Filmed entirely at the couple's farm and community of Pottsville, Tenn. the show combines a mix of live performances from the duo and "a select group of singers and songwriters that inspire them," recipes from their family-owned Marcy Jo's Café and behind-the-scenes looks at their life together.

New episodes will air Fridays at 8 p.m. and re-air Saturdays at 6 a.m. and Mondays at 1 p.m. and 11 p.m.

3. Mindy Smith - "Sober"

Mention Mindy Smith outside the country blogosphere, and you might get a puzzled look. Those in the know, however, have long recognized a phenomenally talented singer songwriter who is first lept on the scene with a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" on a tribute album. Since then, she's had three critically acclaimed albums released on Vanguard Records. This month, she's released a brand new self-titled album that, while not emotionally fragile as her previous efforts, is still a better than average record. The star of the album is the track "Sober." Listen to it HERE. She's tried it sober, but she can't get him out of her head- it makes for a great country song. 

4. Josh Turner - "Pallbearer"

On an album that's filled with too many forgettable and generic "life is great" songs, this track by the deep-voiced one is beautifully tragic. They dig that eternal bed/ I’m like a lonesome pallbearer/ Carrying the dead/ Carrying the dead/ She don’t call me, and she don’t try to/ And my friend can’t bring her back My eyes are wide open/ Watching my future fade to black. Marty Stuart plays mandolin and Iris DeMent sings beautiful harmony. If Hank Williams, Sr. did a song in 2012, this one would be it. 

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